图书图片
PDF
ePub
[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed]

Then at last, riding fast, he had lost quite
All his lords in the wood, late in the night.

Wandering thus wearilye all alone, up and downe,

With a rude miller he mett at the last, Asking the ready way unto faire Nottingham ;

Sir, quoth the miller, I meane not to jest,
Yet I thinke, what I thinke, sooth for to say,
You doe not lightlye ride out of your way.
Why, what dost thou think of me? quoth our king merrily,

Passing thy judgment upon me so brief?
Good faith, say'd the miller, I meane not to flatter thee;

I guess thee to bee but some gentleman thiefe ;
Stand thee backe in the darke ; light not adowne,
Lest that I presentlye crack thy knaves crowne.

Thou dost abuse me much, quoth the king, saying thus ;

I am a gentleman; lodging I lacke!
Thou hast not, quoth th' miller, one groat in thy purse;

All thy inheritance hanges on thy backe !
*I have gold to discharge all that I call;
If it be forty pence, I will pay

all.

If thou beest a true man, then quoth the miller,

I'll sweare by my toll-dish, I'll lodge thee all night;
Here's my hand, quoth the king, that was I ever-

Nay! soft, quoth the miller, thou may'st be a sprite.
Better I'll know thee; ere hands we will shake;
With none but honest men hands will I take.

Thus they went all along unto the millers house ;

Where they were seething of puddings and souse;
The miller first enter'd in, after him went the king;

Never came hee in so smoakye a house.
Now, quoth hee, let me see here what you are !
Quoth our king, look youre fill, and doe not spare.

• The King says this.

I like well thy countenance, thou hast an honest face;

With my son Richard this night thou shalt lye.
Quoth his wife, by my troth, it is a handsome youth,

Yet it's best, husband, to deal warilye.
Art thou no run away, pry'thee, youth tell?
Show me thy passport, and all shall be well.
Then our king presentlye, making lowe courtesye,

With his hatt in his hand, thus he did say-
I have no passport, nor never was servitor,

But a poor courtyer rode out of my way;
And for your kindness here offered to mee,
I will requite you in everye degree.
Then to the miller his wife whisper'd secretlye,

Saying, it seemeth, this youth's of good kin,
Both by his apparel, and eke by his manners ;

To turn him out, certainlye, were a great sin.” Yea! quoth hee, you may see, he hath some grace When he doth speake to his betters in place. Well! quoth the millers wife, young man ye're welcome here,

And, though I say it, well lodged shall be,
Fresh straw will I have laid, on thy bed so brave,

And good brown hempen sheets likewise, quoth she,
Aye! quoth the good man, and when that is done,
Thou shalt lye with no worse than our own sonne.
Nay first, quoth Richard, good-fellowe, tell me true,

Hast thou noe creatures in thy gay hose ?
Or art thou not troubled with the scabbado ?”

I pray, quoth the king, what creatures are those ?
Art thou not somewhat scabby, my friend, sayeth he,
If thou bees', surely thou lyest not with mee.
This caus'd the king suddenlye, to laugh most heartilye,

Till the teares trickled fast downe from his eyes ;
Then to their supper were they set orderlye,

With hot bag-puddings and good apple-pyes, Nappy ale, good and stale, and in a browne bowle, Which did about the board merrilye trowle.

Fere, quoth the miller, good fellowe, I drinke to thee,

And to all good fellows, wherever they bee !
I pledge the, quoth our king, and thanke the heartilye,

For my good welcome in everye degree,
And here, in like manner, I drinke to thy sonne!
Do then, quoth Richard, and qnicke let it come.
Wife, quoth the miller, fetch me some lightfoote,

And of his sweetnesse a little we'll taste.
A fair ven’son pastye brought she out presentlye;

Eate, quoth the miller, but, sir, make no waste.
Here's dainty lightfnote. In faith, says the king,
I never before eat so daintye thing.
I wis, quoth Richard, no daintye at all it is,

For we doe eat it everye daye.
In what place, sayd our king, may be bought like to this?

We never pay pennye for itt, by my fay;
From merry Sherwood, we fetch it home here;
Now and then we make free with our king's deer.
Then I thinke, sayd our king, that it is venison.

Eche foole, quoth Richard, full well may know that :
Never are wee without two or three in the roof,

Very well fleshed, and excellent fat;
But, prythee, saye nothing wherever thou goe,

We would not for two pence, the king should it knowe. Doubt not then, sayd the king, my promist secresy,

The king shall never know more on't for mee.
A cupp of lambs-wool they dranke unto him then,

And to their bedds they past presentlie.
The nobles, next morning, went all up and downe,

For to seeke out the king in everye towne.
At last at the millers “cott,” soon they espy'd him out,

As he was mounting upon his faire steede,
To whom they came presently, falling down on their knee;

Which made the millers heart wofully bleede, Shaking and quaking, before him he stood,

Thinking he should have been hang'd, by the rood.

« 上一页继续 »